Posts Tagged ‘ChiTag’

NYTF 2020 Wrap-Up

New York Toy Fair 2020 is now in the Gigglicious history book! 

Javitz Center made from lots and lots of Legos

Here’s a snapshot of how it all went down last month:

23 meetings, give or take. Yes, a couple of useless ones, but the rest were productive.

1 microscopic hotel room. Sorry, I meant a “normal” sized room in NYC.

2 pairs of tennis shoes (I’ve deemed this is the only way to survive)

0 winter coats (a first for us)

2 backpacks full of prototypes (this is an improvement on the full-sized luggage a few years back)

Annie and the Scooby Gang. (The only gang I ever wanted to be part of. I just wished they’d have let me in the car.)

NYTF Highlights:

A very New York picture

Any and every view of the Empire State Building at night, seriously.

Having someone say “This is the most exciting thing I’ve seen in two days!” Another one said, “Fast Track this directly to my email. Skip the portal.” Those were great moments where we secretly high-fived under the table.

Seeing a small horse, wearing a coat, standing on the sidewalk waiting for the walk light. Only in New York.

Expecting 0 licenses from a meeting, but getting a request for a proposal for 4.

Getting to hear Ben Veradi from Spin Master play the piano with his jazz combo at the Spin Master party at Stage 48. A lovely little treat.

Perfectly poured, delicious pints of Guinness at the ChiTag event at Connelly’s Pub. 

Our pals, Mary Jo Reutter (inventor extraordinaire) & Brian Turtle (Endless Games) at the ChiTag Inventor Event
Our required, yearly, Times Square selfie. (We are up to about 10 of this same picture.)
He’s just a colorful dude.

The hype and endless work before we Toy Fair is exhausting. I’ll admit it–I gripe about it every year. I usually say I don’t want to go back the next year, but, you know what? I always do. Beyond the sales and networking opportunities (which are huge), its the sense of community, the feeling that we are all striving toward the same goal. It’s our chance to see old colleagues, even better than that, friends.

The NBA is never just a business. It’s always business. It’s always personal. All good businesses are personal. The best businesses are very personal.” ~Mark Cuban

Part 5: Some Marketing and Movie Magic

Once we have a working prototype, the next step is to shoot a presentation video to show it’s function and how its used.  We edit the footage, add music, and put in text to make a short video that presents the item and all its glorious features.

Because Inventor Relations and Product Development people are busy, the video has to be concise and quickly convey the essence and awesomeness of the item.  We generally get one shot at presenting, and if the video is not convincing, then the item gets passed over.

The nominees for the Best Supporting Actors in a Gigglicious Presentation Video are…..well, I don’t think our video efforts will ever win us any cinematic awards,  but we do have fun with the process.  I’ve experimented with green screens, extra effects, and ridiculous fonts no one else should ever use.  Searching out the perfect music can sometimes take me half a day.   I’m currently trying to figure out how I can work in an explosion effect into a video just because it’s awesome!

Most toy and game companies are located on either the East or West coasts.  So for us, being located in the middle of the United States does not make it easy to present face to face in most circumstances.  This makes industry events like Dallas Toy Show, ChiTag or New York Toy Fair important for us to attend.  Meeting CEO’s and getting to present in person is always preferable.  When we can’t do that, we have to send videos and presentation sheets, hold our breath, and hope everything we’ve designed presents well.

Once they’ve reviewed our item, it’s either a yes, no, or sometimes companies “option” an item they are interested in keeping in-house for further review.  This means they pay us a little money for the right to keep the prototype for an extended amount of time.  This gives them more time to decide if the item is right for them before they license it from us.

Otherwise, we continue show our items around, sometimes for years, to all kinds of Inventor Relations people, CEO’s, and Product Development Managers and hope that one of our items will fit with a vision they have for their company.  A word to those interested in launching a career as an inventor, a deal rarely happens quickly or even at all and typically, we get way, way more passes on items than we do licenses.  More on that next time….

I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well. ~Alan Greenspan

ChiTag November 2010

We attended Chicago Toy and Game Fair, ChiTag, in November 2010 at Navy Pier.  It is a public toy show and is such a great event that takes place in the MidWest.  It’s a good opportunity for us to get inspired as we watch adults and kids of all ages playing on the floor with toys, playing games at tables, and riding an enormous rocking horse.  It’s also chance for us to see some friends and show our own little daydreamers what a Toy Fair is all about.  Everybody enjoyed meeting Darth Vader, except our littlest daydreamer who hid whenever he saw him.

What a perfect time to play in Chicago!  Many of the Christmas lights and displays were already up and it was without the Christmas crowds since it was before Thanksgiving.  We saw the Christmas Trees at the Walnut Room and the Palmer House.  Our little daydreamers loved all of it!

We made a trip the next day to the Museum of Science and Industry.  We were literally bubbling over with ideas after looking at all the exhibits.  We brainstormed as we walked over what new products we could make!  Half the fun was continually watching lightbulbs going off over the little daydreamers heads over what they were seeing and learning there.  Just proves that  inspiration can come from anywhere!  Who knows where those ideas will lead us. . .

“After it’s finished, sometimes I can trace a path that goes back to the possible source of inspiration.” -Tracy Chapman